When Winter is over and the snow melts away, the mountain slopes awaken, greenery sprouts and nature springs into life. That’s when the complete mountaineering season begins.

Surrounded by mountains in every direction, Yamanashi prefecture is one of the best places to let out your inner mountaineer, with Mt. Fuji, the Southern Alps, and both the Yatsugatake and the Okuchichibu mountain groups providing plenty of outdoor experiences.

However mountaineering (amongst many other industries) came to a dramatic halt in 2020, and saw the closure of many popular hiking routes throughout Japan. Most notably the trails on Mt. Fuji were closed to the public before they had even opened for the hiking season, and have remained closed ever since. As you can imagine, for those looking for an escape from city-life lockdown, these restrictions on where you can go for a little outdoor getaway
These restrictions on outdoor getaways from city-life-lockdown have proven more than a little uncomfortable since they were announced. They have also made the time spent to refresh in the wilderness more valuable than ever.

From 1 May to 30 June 2021, glamping resort Hoshinoya Fuji will hold a ‘Scenic Morning Trekking Tour’ where visitors will be introduced to a secret Mt.Fuji viewing spot.
This special tour will take participants up Mt. Nakafujiyama, is limited to one group per day, and is the perfect getaway for those looking for a break from restrictive city lockdowns.

The tour starts about a 15 minute drive away from Hoshinoya Fuji. From the trailhead hikers can enjoy trekking whilst bathing in the forest sunlight, before proceeding along a ridgeline where a view of Mt. Fuji, Lake Kawaguchi and the surrounding area opens up.

The summit of the hike has an altitude of about 1,665m, and can be reached in about one hour on foot from the starting point. With nothing to block the view, hikers can enjoy a superb scene of Japan’s tallest mountain from foot to peak, as she stands over Lake Kawaguchi.
There is an observatory close to the trailhead, but it is often overcrowded with visitors, so it is instead better to enjoy the scene from the lesser-known summit introduced on this trekking tour.

At the summit hikers will also be able to grind and brew a warming mug of coffee using a camping stove. The beans used are Hoshinoya Fuji’s original outdoor coffee blend, which is characterised by a strong taste and retains its flavour even as it cools.

The tour is limited to one group per day, and will be guided by a suitable number of experienced mountaineers depending on the number of participants in a group. This way, partakers can feel assured that the trip is a COVID-safe experience, and can fully enjoy the trek without worrying about the risk of infection.

Trekking Itinerary Example

6:00 Depart Hoshinoya Fuji after guidance
6:20 Arrive at Shindo Pass First Observatory, start trekking
7:25 Arrive at the summit of Mt. Nakafuji, taking in the spectacular view and coffee
7:55 Depart Mt. Nakafuji
8: 25 Arrive at Shindo Pass First Observatory
8:45 Arrive at Hoshinoya Fuji

The tours will be available from 1 May to 30 June 2021, at 10,000 yen per person. The package includes the tour, trekking guide, insurance fees, coffee, a light meal and rental of any mountaineering equipment. To book, head on over to the Hoshinoya Fuji website.

By - Connie Sceaphierde.